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The best time to do any due diligence investigation is, of course, before making a decision.
Yes, there are all kinds of decisions and some are more important than others. That implies that the level of due diligence you pursue should fit the seriousness of the decision you are going to make. Decisions concerning potential partners, suppliers/vendors, distributors, contractors, customers, and investments are all ripe for due diligence investigation. Due diligence at the prospecting level should look a lot different than due diligence at the nearly-committed level.
So as you face a long list of potential candidates for a specific decision, a low-resolution due diligence can be one criteria you use to narrow the list. When the list is short, a second, more involved, higher resolution due diligence check can be done as part of the process of deciding on a single candidate. Lastly, a full investigative due diligence should be undertaken to ensure you are not making a decision based on false, unknown, or improperly understood, information.
Due diligence is not the last step in the process of getting engaged, it should be undertaken, at various degrees of depth, at intervals along the process of growing close.
When it comes to interacting, in any meaningful or long-lasting way, with the market outside of the company, due diligence should be used as a tool to move you toward your goal. Prescient's due diligence services are fully customizable to meet the level of detail and insight you require to safely make each important decision at each step along the way.